Beta-Adrenergic Antagonists and Cancer Specific Survival in Patients With Advanced Prostate Cancer: A Veterans Administration Cohort Study

Urology. 2021 Sep;155:186-191. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2021.02.008. Epub 2021 Feb 13.


Objective: To interrogate the National Veterans Health Administration (VA) database to determine if beta-blocker use at time of initiation of androgen therapy deprivation (ADT) would result in improved oncological outcomes in advanced prostate cancer (PCa).

Methods: All men diagnosed with high risk PCa (PSA >20) from 2000-2008 who were on ADT ≥ 6 months were identified. Patients receiving ADT concurrently with primary radiation therapy were excluded. Pharmacy data was interrogated for all beta-blockers, but then focused on the selective beta-1 blocker metoprolol. Cox proportional hazards ratios were calculated for overall survival (OS), PCa specific survival (CSS) and skeletal related events (SREs).

Results: In 39,198 patients with high risk PCa on ADT, use of any beta-blocker was not associated with improvement in OS, CSS, or SREs. Further analyses focusing on metoprolol found that 10,224 (31.9%) had used metoprolol while 21,834 had no beta-blocker use. Multivariable analysis with Inverse Propensity Score Weighting, adjusted for factors including PSA, Gleason score, and duration ADT, found that utilization of metoprolol was not associated with improvement in OS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.97, P = .19), CSS (HR 0.94, P = .23) or SREs (HR 0.98, P = .79).

Conclusion: In this large cohort, metoprolol use in conjunction with ADT in high risk PCa was not associated with improvement in OS, CSS, or risk of SRE. In contrast to a recent smaller clinical study, our data strongly suggests no cancer specific benefit to beta-blocker use in advanced PCa.